SERVICOM boss lauds FIRS for service delivery

By Okon Okon

Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, the National Coordinator/CEO of the Service Compact with all Nigerians (SERVICOM), has commended services rendered by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to its customers across the country.

Akajemeli gave the commendation when she presented SERVICOM Compliance Evaluation (SCE) reports to the Chairman of the Agency at its Head Office in Abuja.

While making the presentation, Akajemeli highlighted that the SERVICOM team visited 15 FIRS office locations across geo-political zones to carry out its routine work before the final assessment.

“This is to assess the quality of services receive by citizens and report back to the government how well these services make impact in the lives of Nigerians. “

According to her, the overall objective of the SCE is to ensure Citizen Focused Service Delivery in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“The specific objective includes identifying gaps in service delivery and making recommendations to  FIRS to improve customer satisfaction and accountability.”

Akajemeli expressed satisfaction in FIRS services in area of huge sensitisation awareness in tax payments, the introduction of reforms such as automation of tax payment systems e-registration, e- tax clearance certificate, e-Stamp Duty, e-Receipt for example in Owerri State office.

“This has increased voluntary compliance of tax payers and also made tax payment easier.

“The Federal Inland Revenue Service has provided a variety of ways for tax payments such as internet banking, Remita, inter-switch and others. This has allowed taxpayers to pay their taxes from the comfort of their homes, ” Akajemeli said.

The introduction of Tax Pro-Max which is used for registration, filling and payment of VAT, processing/ issuance of tax clearance certificate in Niger State office according to her, has helped in promoting the ease of doing business, paying taxes from the comfort of customers’ homes/ offices.

Akajemeli, nevertheless, pointed out some weaknesses and made recommendations to improve upon in some offices.

According to her, interaction with stakeholders revealed that there is lack of synergy between the Government Business Tax Office (GBTO) and the Stamp Duty Office in the area of monitoring compliance level of MDAs.

This, she said could hamper effective monitoring of compliance, adding that it was observed that the stamp duty office does not have enough professional staff such as Accountants to carry out revenue collection and other activities in the Lagos office for instance.

She made further recommendations which included creating more awareness on taxes for the benefit of its customer for easy compliance, efforts should be made to reduce downtime on the Tax Pro-Max to hasten tax clearance processes and save time.

The SERVICOM boss also made observation on provision of more work tools including upgrading of internet services by FIRS management to carry out activities in some state offices to enhance effective/efficient service delivery to its customers.

Responding, Mr Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman FIRS, thanked SERVICOM management for the impressive assessment.

Highlighting the success of FIRS, Nami said the current management of the agency do not take issues of service delivery lightly as it was ready to execute the agency’s mandates as given by the government.

“Last year, we hosted a very elaborate global customers service week and where we launched FIRS Service Charter.

“Let me also mention that recently, the International Monetary Fund revisited the service to conduct a Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment on FIRS, our Service Charter was actually a high point of the assessment.

“And this gave the service kudos from the multilateral organisation, ” he said. (NAN)